Surprisingly, like Trick or Treating, Groundhog Day is not just a North American tradition. It seems to have started in Ancient Rome, where the animal involved was a hedgehog. However, hedgehogs became extinct in North America during the Pliocene epoch and are now, rather oddly to European eyes, considered to be cute exotic animals only kept as pets on that continent. Another oddity is that badgers have also apparently been used - the animal in this video is an American badger, but both those and European badgers are pretty fierce, unfriendly animals, so i'm a little confused about that. In Alaska, marmots are used.
Groundhogs are in fact a large species of ground squirrel like the marmot and also known as woodchucks. They are, like the other animals, sort of gruff - hedgehogs are not aggressive of course but they do grunt quite a bit.
Groundhog Day used to be Imbolc, one of the cross-quarter days also known as Candlemas. Cross-quarter days are those halfway between the solstice and equinox and also include Lunasa, Mabon and Samhain. In the case of Groundhog Day, the day in question has "slipped" around our orbit because of the inaccuracy of the Julian calendar, which lost eleven days compared to the later Gregorian calendar. Imbolc has been the same as the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, but like Groundhog Day, that particular celebration has slipped.
The tradition is also like St Swithin's day. St Swithin is a tenth century English saint whose day is 15th July and where tradition holds that if it rains on that day, it will rain for forty days after.
There's also an element of contrarian wisdom in Groundhog Day in that it holds that the opposite of what one might expect will happen.
Sorry i didn't mention the film or Bill Murray. Maybe tomorrow.
What can i say about this video? Well, it's a rather late attempt at tentpole programming which may, for all i know, get a few views later today once people in North America have got up.
What i wanted to say today was, i don't understand why i'm not gaining subscribers. On the other channel, i gained...
Hold on a sec. I'm getting a powerful sense of deja vu.
Shall i start again?
Groundhog Day is two things. One is the film with Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell, the other is the thing i mentioned yesterday. The film is very good, in my opinion, partly as a very literal interpretation of the concept of Eternal Recurrence, or "Ewige Wiederkehr", which is the thought-experiment, proposed by Friedrich Nietzsche, that you live every moment of your life over an infinite number of times. If that thought is glorious, you're living your life the right way. If not, you're doing it wrong.
Nietzsche is a much-maligned and unfairly represented figure who could be seen as an early existentialist philosopher. A major theme of his was the "Wille Zur Macht" or "will to power", which he saw as the ground of the Universe, and in danger of being made reactive by people of a slave mentality such as Christians. He was a Romantic and a philosopher in the true Nietzschean style would be subject to being sectioned (certified) or imprisoned in today's society. He, however, wanted a different kind of world in which the kind of authentic behaviour which would lead to that here would in fact be glorified and end in leadership. He was of course an atheist and spoke of the "death of God".
There is plenty more i could say about Nietzsche than i can capture in what is, despite appearances, a four-minute video, so i'm bound to have distorted it, and i apologise for that.
As i said yestern, i might do something on the Bill Murray film "tomorrow". Well, now it's tomorrow and here it is. I need to put some kind of acknowledgement in as it happens, so i'll be back in a minute once i've done that.
It was a bit weird talking about Nietzsche just before heading out to church, but in fact there could be a positive link between the two via Cynicism.
I'm taking a risk with this video because it's twice as long at it might be, and i could probably have halved the time i spent talking about it. Strangely, this is the second video in a row which could've been done in German. It's also occurred to me that i could subtitle "Scissors sizzurs psyzzas" in Esperanto.
A couple of things are also going on behind the scenes, as it were. Firstly, there are two new playlists - can't think why i did this before. One is Yoga, which looks like this:
and the other is "Crossdressing etc.", which looks like this:
In fact, this is not about crossdressing at all so far as i can tell, but other people will probably see it in that way. The reason i say this is explained in "Why I Don't Wear Women's Clothes".
The reason for these playlists is that they contain the two most-watched public videos on my channel, so i hope that by doing this i'll encourage the single-video watchers to watch more.
The lower playlist also illustrates another mini-project in which i'm engaged - revamping the thumbnails. I will gradually go through them and make new ones for most, although many stand alone quite well i think. Incidentally, the side bars for "Women's Clothes" are a possible idea for the channel page itself, which needs some kind of cover image - it's currently just purple.